Thanksgiving Menu Ideas, Healthy Options, and Alternatives 2023

Last-minute menu, planning, and prep help



Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

It’s time to give thanks, share the love, and hopefully some really good grub with your beloved family and friends. If you’re like me — you’ve been planning for weeks, but the holiday still crept up on you. My things-to-do list is growing with missing items and house prep, too.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I’m calm — because at the end of the day — the holiday is about being grateful — so I’m taking a stress-less approach by planning and pacing myself.

According to GFC’s Ultimate Thanksgiving and Holiday Planning guide, your menu and guests should be confirmed and know the location and menu and you should know their allergies, dietary requirements, and special requests.

This article will focus on menu options because it’s not too late to make some changes. It’s still hard to get things from just one store and you have to check prices. I’ve had to check 2–3 stores just for cornbread and stuffing. So if you realize you can’t afford a big meal — let people know now so they can plan accordingly. has a list of places — some may offer a holiday-themed menu.

This year, I’m keeping my menu simple and sticking to the dishes I can cook with ease — with the exception of my Baked Macaroni and Cheese — that is always a labor of love. I’m making my:

Snazzy Stove Top Stuffing

Magnificent Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Crock-Pot Collard Greens

Honey Cornbread

Turkey Breast and Honey Baked Ham

Caramel Pecan Sweet Potato Cheesecake

I’ve even offered an alternative protein plan (APP) to traditional turkey with links to Wide Open Eats’ other poultry and vegetarian options in my #APP article.

So now that we have the entrée covered, let’s talk tasty traditional and other exciting sides. Now I love the traditional bread, butter, and potato-heavy sides, but it wouldn’t be unusual for a few guests to need low or no-sugar, gluten, or dairy-free options due to diabetes, gluten and lactose allergies, or intolerance. I know I’ve developed some…




Top Writer, matriarch, educator & advocate with bylines in Zora, Momentum, An Injustice!, Illumination, Creators Hub, etc. Community Builder #FoodieFridays